Campotosto, located within the Gran Sasso and Monti della Lago National Park, is home to the mortadella that bears its name, long known as coglioni di mulo (“mule’s balls”) thanks to its testicle-like, ovoid shape and the fact they are sold in pairs, tied together with string. They are still made following the same rules as in the past, when local families would gather together in an unusual communal effort to produce the mortadellas. They would then be consumed from Easter.
The salami is made by finely grinding high-quality, lean cuts of pork, like the shoulder and the thigh, then adding ground belly to give the right proportion of fat to the mixture. The pork mixture is wrapped around a distinctive chunk of fat (known as the lardello), around 10 centimeters long. A stick is stuck into the lower part of the binding, so that as the meat ages and dries out, the strings can be tightened. Once they have been prepared, the mortadellas are hung from a pole and exposed for around 15 days to the smoke of a fire fuelled with oak or beech wood. They are then transferred to natural aging rooms, where the tramontana (north wind) and the altitude (around 1,300 meters above sea level) ensure the ideal temperature and humidity for optimal drying. After three months they are ready to be consumed. The slices are dark red in color, with the lardello bright white. In the mouth, the meat is chewy and dense, while the fat is sweet and crisp. This important salami, with its full-bodied, lingering flavor, demands pairing with an equally significant wine.
Produced during the winter. The Presidium protocol stipulates a minimum maturation period of two months
Campotosto Municipality, L’Aquila Province
Presidium supported by
Gran Sasso and Laga Mountains National Park
Via San Giorgio, 1
Località Poggio Cancelli
Tel. +39 347 9402266
di Ugo Paolini
Via Piave, 5
Tel. +39 328 1790042